Joey Doiron returned from a two-week hiatus last season to turn in his most impressive performances of the entire year, an effort that Doiron believes energized the team and could serve as a springboard for his current PASS North Series effort. That season starts on Saturday, May 5, with the SouthernMaineMotors.com 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
Doiron is as excited as he's been for any season opener in his three-year Super Late Model career.
“As a driver, no one wants to watch their series or their weekly track go run a race and them not be there,” Doiron, recalling the two races his team opted to skip last July. “But I think not going to Canaan or Thompson, I think it benefitted the whole team, not just myself. We had a bad start to the season. We were arguing, no one was having fun, and it got to the point where it was turning into no fun at all.
The results showed that, too. Doiron closed the PASS North Series season with four straight Top-10 finishes. In between, he won a 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature at Beech Ridge.
It was by far the most consistent string of finishes Doiron had put together since joining the series full-time as a rookie in 2010. And the driver of the No. 73 JBJ Machine/Dale Shaw Race Cars Chevrolet sees no reason why the team won't pick up where it left off.
“I really think we're going to be where we ended last year.,” Doiron said. “There were a couple of races where I think we had the best car and didn't get finishes to show it. Of all our goals, the biggest one is that I at least want to get to Victory Lane this year.
“I want to win one, not for me, but for this whole team. They deserve it.”
Doiron likes the way the pieces are falling into place for a strong 2012 season. His experience in PASS Super Late Models at a variety of tracks, coupled with the team's new-found enthusiasm for getting to the race track each week, should serve him well.
“I've really matured as a driver, in my opinion,” said Doiron, who has never finished outside the Top-10 in the final PASS North standings. “Last year and my rookie year, it was like I drove hard at the wrong times and put myself in bad predicaments. I'd be racing too hard early on, and usually my car was in situations when there was no need for it. I'd end up falling back way too soon. We'd be fast, but we weren't fast when in mattered.
“Like they always say, it doesn't matter how fast you are for the first 140 laps. It's how fast you are in those last 10 laps.”
And while Doiron looks matter-of-factly at his own performances over the past two years, he's also willing to examine a little more. For the first time, the No. 73 will sport a black paint scheme with brilliant blue and white trim.
“Yep, we're going with blue this year,” Doiron laughed. “We're getting rid of that green from last year. Green's bad luck.”
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